3PL services play a key role in company’s growth plans as it provides numerous advantages; right from timely delivery and availability of product to inventory management. Given the vitality of the role of a third-party service provider, companies expect them to deliver more than just their usual services. However clients in India face few key operational issues with a 3PL service provider for Warehousing & Transportation services which if fulfilled can develop a long term sustainable and successful business relationship.
Controls on inventory
Due to lack of Inventory controls, many times a wrong product is delivered to the channel partners of client against the market orders given by them. Inventory management is a complex management and a 3PL service provider needs to have a stringent control on it, such that the system stock should manage the physical stocks, at all times.
Controls on processes and SOP’s of the client
A C&F agent has to manage the warehouse as per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP’s) shared by the client. Every client has their own way of handling the stock flow, order punching, inventory and cycle count, hygiene of the stock, etc.
A 3PL service provider should adapt the company’s SOPs, to ensure seamless and un-interrupted service.
Controls on manpower and local issues
Many times C&F agents do not have proper controls on the manpower in terms of:
- Training and development of the staff on regular basis to keep them accountable and motivated
- Forecasting manpower requirement for processes – either they are understaffed or overstaffed
- Keeping themselves updated regarding the whereabouts of their staff and their performance
This may lead to hindrance in day-to-day working on account of company’s inter-division escalations (disputes) and may also lead to financial loss.
Timely communication and reporting
In a field as dynamic as logistics, a 3PL service provider needs to be on toes. It is crucial that communication, in form of an email as well as verbal, reaches the client on time so that necessary actions can be taken in-case of any breakdown.
Moreover, 3PL service provides need to generate and share daily reports with client. These reports needs to be complete, accurate, in proper format and timely in nature as these reports are critical for the client to make crucial sales and business decisions.
Managing transport stock delivery issues
Most of the times clients face issues related to timely delivery of stock as the vehicles do not reach on time, are not tracked properly. Apart for this, there are several other factors that can hinder on time delivery of the stock while in transit. A smart 3PL service provider will always make a forecast of such hindrances, keep a buffer time, and will be prepared in advanced to avoid any delivery issues.
Flexible or adaptable to client working culture
Every company have their own working culture. A C&F agent should be sensitive, understand company’s work culture and adapt its working style accordingly rather than operating as per his knowledge and experience of working with another client in the same industry.
Adaptable to new management practices and technology
Post GST, 3PL service provider’s job has become more complex. Thus using same old manual processes will not lead to efficient output. Upgrading to new technology and automation will not just bring innovation in the work flow, but also reduces the monotonousness of service procedures and will also reduce costs in the long term for the client.
We at JAL understand these concerns and take utmost attention to address them, provide customised solutions and consistently deliver the same.